Meet Kimberly DeNicolo
2019 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award Winner: Pediatric Nurse Category
One of the two 2019 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Awards in the category Pediatric Nurse was awarded to Kimberly DeNicolo, MSN, an ED Quality Coordinator at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Kimberly coordinates and leads multiple improvement projects in the emergency department, but she spends a large part of her time working to improve sepsis care within the department. She is the nursing lead for the ED multidisciplinary sepsis committee as well as a member of the Institutional Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes (IPSO) inpatient and facilitation teams. She collaborates with the inpatient sepsis teams by sharing the ED improvement work and she helps tailor future interventions based on their experience within acute care areas.
Kimberly’s experience working on sepsis issues began when she was a staff nurse in the ED in 2015. She admits she had little knowledge of sepsis at the time. When studying for her master’s degree, she developed a passion for learning about sepsis pathophysiology and how early recognition and treatment drastically changed outcomes. “In 2017, I transitioned into my current quality improvement role and committed myself to improve sepsis care delivery processes in the emergency department,” she wrote in her application. “I have spent much of the last two years immersed in learning about sepsis and coordinating a team-based approach to care for patients with a concern for sepsis.”
In May of 2018, Kimberly proposed hosting a multidisciplinary rapid improvement event. She envisioned bringing representation from all frontline disciplines together in the same room to better understand current workflows and to identify ways to best leverage role expertise to improve sepsis care. “In working with departmental leaders, the event hosted 37 participants across 17 disciplines, all who play a role in care delivery for a sepsis patient in the ED. The aim of the event was to critically appraise intersecting multidisciplinary workflows, identify barriers to care, identify solutions, and prioritize high impact interventions,” she wrote.
“Recognizing all of the amazing work going on to improve sepsis care around the country, it was incredibly humbling to receive Erin’s Campaign for Kids Pediatric Nurse Award. I am proud to be a part of a team who, behind the scenes and at the frontline, continues to improve sepsis care using a multidisciplinary approach. I am honored to accept this award on behalf of my colleagues who work hard every day to improve outcomes for our patients,” said Kimberly.
Kimberly would like to use her award to purchase t-shirts for the staff. In her facility, the staff wears t-shirts that highlight related awareness messages instead of scrubs. “Clinicians wearing t-shirts with sepsis education on the back is a great way to spread institution and family awareness, education and engagement,” she wrote. She would also like to aid in the financial support of hosting another rapid improvement event surrounding sepsis to further refine and improve the care they provide.